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Vote for Israel at UN not against Palestinian cause: India

India voting against Israel at the UN on the Jerusalem issue came up during the talks but the two leaders said their ties are not 'determined by a single issue'. Photograph:( Twitter )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 20, 2019, 08.09 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

India has said its vote for Israel at a UN body should not be "construed as a vote against the Palestinian cause". 

India on June 6 had voted in favour of Israel for not giving consultative or observer status to a Palestinian NGO-Non governmental organisation at UN's economic and social council - ECOSOC.  

The proposal was submitted by Israel for further scrutiny by the Committee on NGOs of the application from an NGO 'Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness)' or Shahed requesting observer status. Israel said the NGO had close contacts with terrorist organisations.

Explaining India's vote, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: "Our vote was in favour of the proposal in line with India’s position on greater scrutiny by the NGO Committee of the consultative status applications for possible terrorist linkages and to screen the NGO applications with the sanctions list of the UN Security Council before granting them ECOSOC status."

"It should not be linked to the Palestinian cause. It is something we have done in the past. This was done so that proper vetting of the NGO could be done before it could be admitted as ECOSOC Observer," the external affairs ministry spokesman added.

Twenty-eight countries including India have backed Isreal while fourteen countries voted against and five abstentions. Israel was quick to welcome India's decision. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, "Thank you @NarendraModi, thank you India, for your support and for standing with Israel at the UN."

India has supported the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital existing alongside the state of Israel in conformity with the relevant UN resolutions.

Ties between India and Israel have grown in the past few years with a number of high-level visits between both the countries. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi visited Israel in July, 2017, the first visit by an Indian PM to the country. It was followed by a visit by Israeli PM Netanyahu to India in January last year.

PM Modi had visited Palestine in 2018 during which he was honoured with the highest civilian award.